Posts by Courtney Bru

employer duty to initiate interactive process

An employer’s duty to initiate the ‘interactive process’ without a request for accommodation from the employee

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the safety of the employee or others. ADA regulations provide that in order to determine an appropriate reasonable accommodation, it may be necessary for the…

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Minimizing liability for overpayment, underpayment of wages

Overpayment of wages is more common than you may think. For example, inadvertent overpayment may occur in the context of processing new hire, promotion or revised benefit election paperwork. Regardless of the reason, employers must address overpayment in a very specific manner. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not address the actual payment of…

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EEOC alleges medical exams and questionnaires violate ADA, GINA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits an employer’s ability to make disability-related inquiries or subject individuals to medical exams. No such inquiries or exams may be made until an offer of employment is made. Once a conditional offer of employment is made, an employer may make such inquiries or require such exams, provided it…

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Best practices for Oklahoma employers when inquiring about criminal histories

You’ve probably at least heard of the so-called “Ban the Box” movement, a campaign aimed at convincing employers to remove any checkbox on applications designed to elicit information regarding an applicant’s criminal record. Many states, counties and cities have enacted “Ban the Box” legislation, but it’s certainly not the law in all jurisdictions. And the…

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2016 presidential election dynamics in the workplace: Free speech? ‘You’re fired’

None of us are immune from this year’s presidential election dynamics. Disrespect and name-calling seem more prevalent than policy discussions. The election is highly polarizing, potentially pitting employee against employee. In the midst of it all, employees are often misinformed regarding their “free speech rights” in the workplace. A recent instance from Georgia should serve…

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Summertime, and the Livin’ is…well, potentially complicated

Ah…summertime. It’s finally here. The long days, the slower pace. Vacations, hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill, and the ever-present risk of legal exposure. Huh? That’s right, summertime also ushers in different types of employment relationships that can get employers into trouble. Let’s review three potential culprits. First up, the “summer intern” So energetic! So…

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Obama embraces ‘ban the box’ movement

In November, President Obama announced that he was directing federal agencies that they could not inquire about criminal convictions on federal job applications. According to the president, the federal government “should not use criminal history to screen out applicants before we even look at their qualifications.” The president has directed the federal Office of Personnel…

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EEOC says sexual orientation protected under Title VII

The last few years have seen a dramatic expansion of rights to persons on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court found unconstitutional the heterosexual definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” in the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Earlier this year, that court found same-sex marriage is a fundamental…

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